PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT
ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE

Helping people take back their lives.

Physical therapy is one of the most rapidly growing and rewarding careers, and the associate degree program at Mercyhurst can offer you the best education in the field. Our esteemed faculty will prepare you to become an important member of a health care team, where you will work under a physical therapist to provide hands-on care that helps improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Join the program today and do your part to help patients regain their strength and take back their lives.

Still Time to Apply for Fall 2020 Entry!

Whether you’re just starting out in your Physical Therapist Assistant education, or need to transfer and continue your education elsewhere, Mercyhurst’s PTA Program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2020. We would be happy to work with you to explore your options and facilitate your entry into the program. Our program is a long-standing, well-established program with a firm commitment to preparing our students for entry-level practice within the field of physical therapy. The program has been fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education since 1996.

Begin the process by completing our free online application or contacting PTA Program Director Janice Haas at jhaas@mercyhurst.edu or 814-725-6305.

Fast Facts

  • 95% of our PTA graduates found employment within one year
  • PTAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient physical therapy clinics, rehab centers, and home health care

  • Some MNE alum have gone on to earn a bachelor's degree in sports medicine at Mercyhurst's Erie Campus and other four-year institutions

  • Each student is required to complete 640 hours of clinical work at one of the multiple facilities committed to working with our program

  • Students in our program receive hands-on training in the PTA Lab and learn how to use equipment like hydrotherapy tanks, treatment and mat tables, parallel bars, wall pulleys, and elastic resistance

  • A scholarship opportunity exists for this program. Established in 2013 in memory of a PTA graduate, the Danny Bilski PTA Assistance Fund supports current PTA students continue and complete their studies in the field Danny was so passionate about

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate professional behaviors in all patient/client interactions, including simulated situations
  • Perform interventions and data collection in a safe and effective manner as directed in the plan of care and within the scope of practice of a physical therapist assistant
  • Effectively monitor patient response to treatment and respond appropriately
  • Utilize appropriate communication and documentation to aid in the effective operation of the physical therapy department and the provision of physical therapy services

Admissions Requirements

In addition to Mercyhurst's standard requirements for admission, which include a high school diploma or GED, a minimum GPA of 2.5, and either an ACT, SAT or MNE Placement Test score that meet placement requirements for the program, individuals applying for admission to the physical therapist assistant program are subject to the following standards:

  • Applicant must be a high school graduate or GED recipient with minimum overall C+ average.
  • Applicant must have completed high school courses in algebra, biology AND chemistry, with a minimum grade of C in each course.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with SAT scores at or above 900 (two section total) or a 20 composite score on the ACT test.
  • Applicant may be required to take the MNE Placement Test (COMPASS) to determine placement in appropriate English and math courses.
  • The skills test is required for students who achieved below 900 on their SATs (two section total), students who achieved below a 20 on sections of their ACTs, or have never taken the SATs or ACTs, as well as those who have been out of school for several years.
  • If an applicant does not meet the required scores to enter into Research and Writing, and/or Introduction to Statistics, he or she must take preparatory classes. Placement into Research and Writing, and/or Introduction to Statistics will enable the student to enter directly into the program of study. If preparatory English or Math are required, a student could enter as a Health Studies major for their first year and complete remedial coursework prior to entering the PTA Program. 
  • Applicant must complete a total of 20 hours of documented work or volunteer experience in two different physical therapy settings under the supervision of a licensed PT or PTA prior to the start of classes. Download a clinical observation form, which you must take with you to the observation. 
  • Official, final transcripts are required before the start of classes.
  • All students enrolled in the program are required to complete the following prior to the clinical education courses:
    • Criminal history clearances (state, FBI fingerprint, and child abuse)
    • Drug screen
    • Current physical examination and immunizations/titers
    • TB screening (2-step)
    • CPR certification 

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Mercyhurst University is accredited by: 
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314 
703-706-3245
accreditation@apta.org
http://www.capteonline.org

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 814-725-6305, or email jhaas@mercyhurst.edu.

Public Comment Policy

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Mercyhurst University actively seeks feedback about program, student, and graduate performance. Individuals are welcome to provide comments or concerns. Comments should be submitted to the PTA Program Director. If an individual would like to comment directly to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), comments can be made via the CAPTE website.

Programming Update

Please note: Key components of the Physical Therapist Assistant associate degree program — including all program-specific requirements and laboratory work — are offered exclusively at Mercyhurst’s instructional site in North East, Pennsylvania. Other courses, including REACH Curriculum core courses and electives, can be completed either at Mercyhurst’s Main Campus in Erie or at the North East instructional site. 


Contact Us

Janice Haas, PTA, M.S.
Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant
Phone: 814-725-6305
Email: jhaas@mercyhurst.edu


Meet the Faculty

Physical Therapist Assistant
Clint Jones, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Janice Haas, M.S.
Associate Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant, Assistant Professor
Alexis Caldwell
Lab Supervisor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program